Buchholz senior pitcher Caden Kresak set the tone early against rival Gainesville High.
The Lake Sumter State College commit struck out two batters in the bottom of the first inning and tossed a no-hitter as visiting Buchholz defeated GHS, 12-0, at Tiny Talbot Field.
Kresak pitched a complete game and struck out 12 with only three walks.
“He’s a bulldog and a competitor,” said Buchholz coach Ron Brooks. “He’s been pitching in our program for four years and it was great to see a culmination tonight of a great career at Buchholz. It was fun to be a part of that.”
Kresak got the only run he would need in the top of the second inning on Cole Smithers’ first home run ever.
“Tonight, we put a lot of good swings on the baseball,” Brooks said. “The ball went over the fence and it was a really good approach, so that’s good to see.”
The solo shot ignited the Bobcats, who scored three more runs in the inning on an error and a 2-RBI single by senior Dario Astudillo for a 4-0 lead.
Smithers added an RBI double in the third to extend the lead to 5-0.
But the night belonged to Kresak, who said he’s thrown double-digit no-hitters all-time.
Kresak said the key was getting ahead in the counts. He stayed ahead and threw a lot of fastballs.
“It’s the last game here that I’ll ever have,” said Kresak, who struck out the side in order in the bottom of the 4th inning. “And, it’s a good one.”
It was the fifth straight win in the series for the Bobcats (14-5-1), who will host Gainesville (5-16) on Friday night.
Brooks was happy in more ways than one.
“I’m pleased with the way we played, but just to see the guys, the energy in the dugout, the way that they care about one another, that was the highlight for me,” he said. “Just them having fun together and cheering one another on, that was awesome.”
The first pitch is at 7 p.m. on Friday.